Summer Hours

Criterion Files

For regular readers of this column (yes, all both of you – thanks, Mom and Dad; Neil really appreciates the traffic), it may seem like I have something of an obsessive inclination towards choosing French movies. Such an observation would not be incorrect. I’m fascinated by French movies. It’s difficult to deny that, between eating baguettes and smoking cigarettes at cafés, the French have taken the time to make some pretty damn good movies. And not just now. Or in the 60s. Every decade of the twentieth century, from the formative works of Lumiere to the contemplative mood pieces of Claire Denis, the French have had a consistently strong output and have had enormous influence on western film history at large. For some reason, French movies speak to certain type of cinephile very potently. I haven’t done the math, but it’d be safe to say that more French movies make their way to the US than from any other non-English-speaking country. And it seems every year that a French film makes its way onto the Best Foreign Language Film awards lists. So part of the reason a love for French cinema proliferates amongst Francophiles and cinephiles alike throughout the country is simply a self-determining factor: French films are available and accessible (commercially, not always artistically), thus an interest can grow, which in turn enables more commercial availability. While many international film histories are only selectively accessible to US consumers (I, for one, can only name two or three notable Spanish […]

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This week, Landon uses a trip to the bar to watch the World Cup as a catalyst for discussing nationality (and a lack of it) in films throughout the last 60 years – culminating in a look of the broad, international flavor (and financing) of modern films.

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It has been a while since The Criterion Collection has graced our shelves, but this week they bring us two films on Blu-Ray. Both films are imports from France, and both star a beautiful actress. One film comes to us from Legendary director Jean-Luc Godard. The other is a more recent film starring Juliette Binoche. These two films, of course, are Vivre Sa Vie and Summer Hours.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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